“We have to write our own stories or those in the future will not know us.” Dave Lara 2004

I spoke to an 86 year old man who’d lived through the worst.

He was a Jew and lived in Germany before the war. And he told me his story.

The things he talked about struck me as similar to my life.

When he describe the smell of burning bodies at Auschwitz, I went back to my war and relived the moment I experienced 100 burning sailors and marines in one moment of my war.

When he spoke of his young life and the thought process of being a child that understands that he was different. I went back to my fifth year of life, when I realized that there was something real wrong with me and I had to be frightened of everyone around me. My parents included.

I received his permission to fictionalize his story and at the same time do something I thought would be important for others to read and understand. I spent four months in Europe walking in the footsteps of Banat’s journey.

I found historical material in every place I went. Real inspiration came once in Terezin, and I experienced emotional impact from places like Auschwitz and aboard a ship on the Black Sea.

I used all this and wrote a novel. It is called Butterfly Dream.

Butterfly Dream has helped me stop the depression from the loss of my partner. It also allowed me to seek help for my PTSD.

I hope this story is read. People need to understand the real and uniquely difficult lives that young children live, when they realize they are gay.

I am not overstating it when I say; a gay child’s life is the most difficult life to live in the human experience.